High school students with the FFA hosted a petting zoo and educational event for local elementary school students Friday morning (Aug. 23) at the Sebastian County fair grounds.The Sebastian County Fair kicked off Tuesday (Aug. 20) and wraps up Saturday (Aug. 24).
Hannah Johnson with the Mansfield High School FFA said members are required to give back to their communities. She said the petting zoo helps introduce younger kids to animals they may not have come in contact with before.
“A lot of the young kids, they don’t have this exposure to the animals every day,” said Johnson. “Especially living in Greenwood, it’s more of a suburban area than the rural areas that surround so it’s a new experience for them.”
The FFA members said the organization has taught them important life skills.
Hartford High School FFA member Don Martin said raising livestock builds character and responsibility. Autumn Tibbits, a senior at Greenwood High School, said participating in FFA takes the same commitment and dedication an athletes gives to their sport.
“When everybody else is sleeping in, you’re up at the barn at five o’clock or six o’clock in the morning taking care of your animals,” said Tibbits.
Martin said he’s learned about more than just livestock, and FFA may help him land a career.
“I’m on the electricity team, so I’ve learned a lot about electricity,” he said. “I could probably go after high school and be an electrician if I wanted to.”
Mansfield High School FFA member Elle Johnson said the organization allows her to enjoy many of her interests.
“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed my whole life, working with the animals,” said Elle who said she also likes to work with children. “It’s really fun to get to combine all of it together.”